Feb 2, 2013 4:10pm EST
is a quest for power for your race, tribe, religion, region, whatever, your industry these days. politics is a lot about power. but we always hope that some people in the discussion of politics and policy will stand for something bigger, something broader. like the public interest, freedom and justice, the ideals of the declaration of the independence and the pledge of allegiance. we hope in washington that's what think tanks do. think tanks are separate from abstracted from the day-to-day struggles for either political power or special interests benefits from public policy. obviously, there are some who do that better than others. in the ideal of the think tank is committed to the public interest, even though we may disagree what the public interest is. some think tanks insist they don't have a world view a perspective, a political philosophy. they are just about analyzing and seeing what works. i'm in favor of that. but to define if something is working you have to define what the goals you seek to achieve. is freedom one of the goals that policy ought to enhance? is justice?